Sex and Gender Healthcare Makes the Big Time!

Awareness is building! 3 postings about Sex and Gender Medicine in recent weeks – The New York Times and The Huffington Post

Serving Sizes

What is it about serving sizes? We have supersized ourselves to well…..supersize! I bought frozen chocolate-dipped custard treats; which sounds worse than it appearedwhen I first spied them in the freezer section. I looked at “serving size”-- it was 6 frozen custard treats, each the size of a golf ball, at a total of 360 calories. Many of us could just eat 1 as a treat. Can you imagine the boxes of these that would fly off the shelves if “1 SERVING 60 CALORIES” was plastered across the front of the box? The issue here is serving size – if 6 chocolate-dipped custard treats is a serving size then it convinces the person that eating 6 is okay. Let’s look when nutritional information goes the other way - Pop-tarts ®. 1 Pop-tart® is 200 calories and is listed as a serving size of Pop-tarts ®. [...] Read more

Women Who Smoke Like Men Die Like Men: The Difference is Why They Start and How They Stop

Smoking is a serious addiction. The author of a recently published scientific study states “women who smoke like men, die like men”. What does this mean? It means if women start smoking and continue to smoke past 40, their risk of dying from a tobacco related illness is much like men and as high as 50%! Why people start smoking and how they stop is where the gender differences come in. More teenage girls than boys smoke cigarettes. Teen girls who start smoking list peer pressure and curiosity as primary reasons to start smoking. I tried smoking at age 12 because my cousin wanted me to. 3 puffs later and I didn’t think smoking was that big a deal. Boys tend to start smoking because it makes them feel independent and more vigorous. Women are more likely to be influenced by peers, family and [...] Read more

Is Your Headache Medication Causing Your Headaches?

Of the 45 million people who experience chronic headaches the vast majority are women between the ages of 20 and 45 years old, often juggling a young family, job and other commitments. There are various types of headaches -- migraine, sinus, tension, stress, cluster, and rebound headaches. Headache triggers include stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, and types of food such as chocolate, red wine, aged cheeses. Headache sufferers self-medicate to get rid of the pain and continue to function. Taking a couple aspirin, Advil, Motrin, or Excedrin becomes a habit. Did you know that frequent treatment of headaches with over-the-counter and even prescriptionpain medicine can trigger an analgesic rebound or “medication overuseheadache”? With rebound headaches, once you take medication to relieve the [...] Read more

Medications: Male Vs. Female

Let’s take a moment and imagine that every medicine women take was only studied in males–male animals in the lab, human males in clinical trials and approved marketed and prescribed for men AND women. Let’s take that one step further and imagine that your doctor said Mrs. Smith I’m prescribing this medicine to you because except for your breasts, uterus and ovaries everything in your body is exactly like a man’s. Even though the medicine I have prescribed was only studied in males it doesn’t really make a difference. You might think the doctor was joking around. Maybe he didn’t realize his sense of humor was not that funny. So he writes you the prescription and when you get to the pharmacy, what the doctor said was still bugging you. You ask the pharmacist, “Hey, does this medicine work [...] Read more

Osteoporosis: Not Just Your Grandmother's Disease

A Silent Disease Many of you may have this disease or be at risk but don’t know it. Annually over 2 million people in the United States will suffer a bone fracture due to this disease. Of these 80% are women and 20% are men. This disease is osteoporosis. Building Bones: You only have so much time… Osteoporosis is called “thin bones” by some. The term bone density is a measure of our bone thickness. Bone density is built in our early years. Beginning at puberty (for girls when your menstrual cycle starts) until about age 25, men and women build bone density. Somewhere between 25-30 men and women stop building bone and have reached their peak bone mass (bone density), and no more gains happen. The peak bone mass can be maintained by healthy lifestyle choices such as exercise, adequate [...] Read more

Worry and Our Stress Response

Women and men both worry, but surprise we do it differently! Research shows that women are 2 times more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Women and men tend to deal with stress differently women tend to talk abouttheir stress men tend to internalize stress. Is there ever a time in our lives when we have absolutely ZERO to stress about? I mean even if there was we FIND things to stress about for other people in our lives. Let’s talk about what is really happening when we get stressed out. There are several phases to the “human stress cycle”: #1 is the Alarm Phase - racing heart, increased breathing, maybe sweating.This phase is what happens when you are running from a bear or something less life-threatening but more embarrassing is running into your ex-fiancé when you are in the [...] Read more

Are friends beneficial for our health?

Women tend to rely on friends during times of stress. When I ask women what is their greatest support during times of stress one of the top three answers is friends. Why is that? A UCLA study shows that when women are under stress, the hormone oxytocin is released. This hormone causes us to gravitate toward “tending or befriending”. We tend the children/family or see our friends. This action of tending or befriending causes the body to release more oxytocin. Estrogen also enhances oxytocin and increases this stress response. Men however respond to stress differently. Although men do produce oxytocin, the male hormone testosterone dampens the “tending and befriending” effect. This may explain why when women are stressed we call our friends or gather family around, but when men arestressed [...] Read more

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